hand in blue glove holding a vial marked

Understanding the ‘vaccine-hesitant’

John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist explores why some people are making the reasonable decision to avoid taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recent polls show about a quarter of American adults either don’t plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine or want to wait on it. The numbers have held steady for months: 27 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll, 25 percent in an NPR/Marist poll from late March, and 30 percent in a Pew survey from mid-February. After federal health officials called for a pause in the distribution of Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot vaccine last week over fears of severe blood-clotting, the number of vaccine-hesitant Americans could be slightly higher now.

That means tens of millions of American adults won’t be getting a vaccine, at least not right away. Why? For corporate media, the answer is simple: those people are idiots who have either bought into crazy conspiracy theories about the pandemic or are simply too selfish and lazy to do the right thing. …

… You can see a pattern taking shape here. The groups least likely to get a vaccine — rural residents, conservative Christians, the working class, Republican voters — are the very groups corporate media and left-wing elites hate the most.

The concerns of vaccine-hesitant Americans, whether about the safety of the vaccines or the morality of taking them, are utterly alien to our elites. It’s easy, then, for The New York Times to chalk up all such qualms to ignorance and stupidity — much like worries about election integrity, or allowing men to compete in women’s sports, or many other contentious issues. In every case, the answer is the same: those people are idiots.

What our elites don’t seem to grasp is that vilifying the tens of millions of Americans who refuse, on various grounds, to get a vaccine, will not change their minds.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...